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Realistic horses and cows?

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  • Member since
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Realistic horses and cows?
Posted by Gary Morton on Thursday, May 03, 2018 8:04 PM

Anyone know of a source for decent HO scale animals, esp. horses & cows?

I've looked at the offerings from WS, Preiser, Noch on eBay, and based on the photos, they are atrocious --- shiny paint, solid molded tails and manes, etc. Even the proportions are wrong on some of them --- too thick legs and necks.

 

I remember seeing small figurines with fine-scale fuzzy coats (mostly bears). Surely someone makes horses with a similar coat, fine fiber tails, and that are anatomically accurate. Does anyone make animals of quality comparable to Canyon Creek trees?

 

Thx!

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, May 03, 2018 8:16 PM

I have been modeling since about 1955 and I have never seen any "fuzzy cows and horses. I think Preiser makes about the nicest figures of all types in HO. The Campbell cattle are pretty nice and the old Revell cows looked good too. Some are a bit odd proportionally. 

A coat of Testors Dullcoat should eliminate any glossy paint.

oldline1

 

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Posted by PC101 on Thursday, May 03, 2018 9:14 PM

The fuzzy coating was called ''Flocking'', it looked ok on ''O'' scale but not so good on ''HO''. How may animals are you in need of? Race horse or plow/draft horse? If the above mention brands are not in your liking, looks like scratch building time. 

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Posted by Gary Morton on Thursday, May 03, 2018 10:56 PM

Yes --- I remember that. Been a while since I've seen one of those. Might have to use a finer flock for HO.

Need 2 horses and perhaps 1 cow. Riding horses. Probably have to buy a couple of the Preiser's and see what I can do with them.

Anyway, sounds like an unfulfilled niche in this hobby. Someone making realistic looking HO animals could make some money.

Thx!

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Friday, May 04, 2018 12:07 AM

Never heard of anything like that!

Is that detail really necessary? I doubt that one could tell the difference out of a normal viewing distance of 2 to 3 feet.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, May 04, 2018 12:09 AM

I think that the various Jordan horses are nicely done, although they're all draught horses of various ilks...

....and one day, I hope to get around to adding some of the proper harness details.

I'm not sure who made these cows - while they're all identical, I painted some as Holsteins, some as Jerseys, and some as Ayrshires, and they're usually grouped in different fields....

 

I also got quite a few unpainted steers from the "used" table at a former LHS, but I don't know who made them.  Again, they're all identical (good as Herefords, and perhaps some other beef cattle), and a bit of variety can be added with way you paint them...

The not-too-visible pigs, below, were from the same source, also of unknown origin.  You could add some different varieties using paint, I think, but the size and body shapes are all identical....

I also have a number of cows, horses (including the riding variety, although the modeller will need to provide the saddles and other tack), miscellaneous smaller livestock and some wildlife from Model Power, but haven't yet got around to painting any of it.  The horses may be a bit on the small side.  The general appearance of most seems fairly prototypical, but it would be up to the modeller to enhance things with some decent paint work.

Wayne

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Posted by Gary Morton on Friday, May 04, 2018 8:19 AM

Those do look better than most. Thanks for tip. Nice looking layout!

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Friday, May 04, 2018 12:16 PM

Preiser makes the nicest figures. All of their figures are painted with flat matte paint.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by Graffen on Friday, May 04, 2018 12:54 PM
Yeah.... Jordan made the best horses. Too bad that they're out of business.

Swedish Custom painter and model maker. My Website:

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Posted by PC101 on Friday, May 04, 2018 2:06 PM

Graffen
Yeah.... Jordan made the best horses. Too bad that they're out of business.
 

Makes you wonder where the moldes went?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, May 04, 2018 3:45 PM

I would think that some "weathering" techniques would make some improvements on the live stock that looks "too clean", like it's ready to be presented at the county fair.

And also getting rid of flashing, followed by some touch up painting. 

Mike.

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 04, 2018 4:52 PM

If you look at 18mm scale wargaming figures, these are all compatible with HO scale. Horses, cows, burros, donkeys, and even elk can be found.

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The best ones are made in Eastern Europe or Russia, and if you do some digging you can find some elegent models. Most are garbage, but there are a few gems.

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Also... many 18mm wargaming ranges include "civilian" models, and the WW1 and WW2 era civilians can make great additions to our transition era townfolk. ACW civilians work great for 1860-1920 era layouts where properly dressed townfolk can be scarce.

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20mm scale is more common, but is chunky for HO. 10mm scale is great for N scale.

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I am curious why you are not happy with Preiser horses? All mine look fine after repainting and I am satisfied with them.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Gary Morton on Friday, May 04, 2018 7:31 PM

I didn't like the Preisers mainly because of the molded tails and manes. Also, the painting on those offered on eBay looked poor:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HO-1-87-scale-Preiser-14150-FIVE-HORSE-Horses-Animal-Figures/392035488593?epid=4015803626&hash=item5b4722d351:g:LZQAAOxyyghQ6hhB

 

Finally bought some from Peoplescale.com. They look a lot like the Preisers, but seem to have a better paint job. They still have the molded tails and manes. Don't know why these manufacturers couldn't add dyed fiber tails and manes, and better eyes, which would look much more realistic.

https://peoplescale.com/Horses-HO-Scale-187-P-10156.htm

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 04, 2018 11:00 PM

You need to repaint everything. Especially people and animals.

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Horses require socks, blazes, hoofs, and patterns. There are several excellent miniature painting resources that describe the proper ways to paint miniature horses. 

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It sounds like in order to satisfy yourself you will need to develop a new set of skills. Welcome to the minitaure painting sub-hobby!

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The molded manes and tails are fine and actually preferable. When shrunnk to 1/87 these lose all texture. Fibers would look toy like.

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Basing, shading, highlighting, dry brushing, and washing will make them look real.

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These are all 15mm scale, which is about 40% smaller than HO scale.

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These are all 28mm scale, about 50% larger than HO, but you can see what can be done.

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And of course... Queen Boudicca on her chariot in 15mm scale:

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You are not going to get what you are looking for in a hobby shop. Preiser is about as good as it gets. 

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Miniature painting is a hobby all unto its own, but it has applications in model railroading that are rewarding, but unecessary unless you are going for amazing photographs.

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If you have the money, there are excellent painting services overseas that you can send your Preiser figures to and they will repaint them to contest quality standards. Expect to pay $15.00-$20.00 per figure, but you can get what you want that way.

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Welcome to the dark side! (Since it is still May the Fourth!)

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, May 05, 2018 12:38 AM

SeeYou190
You need to repaint everything. Especially people and animals.

I just assume I have to paint everything. The wagon and horses are Jordan. The the horse in the foreground is from a old pack I got off of eBay that said "Cowboys" and had about 100 brown figures on multiple brown sprues. The people are from so many different places I can't remember them all. I got several packs of metal HO cowboy hats, and all of a sudden I had all kinds of cowboys. 

 FYI: at the time of this photo I owned vitamin store in a town, and I quote,

if the world were to blow up, it would be ten years before they heard about it.

Bet you can't guess the name of the store.

This is what awaits the pitchman.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Sunday, May 06, 2018 6:58 AM

SeeYou190
20mm scale is more common, but is chunky for HO. 10mm scale is great for N scale.

I'd say 20 mm fits to much better to HO than 18 mm:

A 20 mm high figure represents a 5'-8.5'' high person in HO, a 18 mm figure a 5'-2'' person in HO.
Regards, Volker

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